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List of Tropicals that can be stored Dormant

March 13, 2007

Currently, I have numerous types of cannas, bananas, and elephant ears that I store dormant for the winter. I am looking to expand my tropical garden and was wondering what other tropicals can be overwintered this way?

Comments (9)

  • mortimmer

    Piper auritum, Amorphophallus konjac, the hedychiums, tibouchina, hibiscus

  • turquoise

    I'm considering crocosmia lucifer for this year. I don't believe it's tropical but has a tropical look...


  • TnShadyLady

    Brugmansia (mature ones, not fresh cuttings), adeniums and plumeria can also be stored dormant.

  • JohnnieB

    I've had good luck with Curcuma elata and Amorphophallus bulbifer. Both stay dormant all winter when kept bone-dry in my cool attic and don't sprout until I start watering them in the spring. The Curcuma is especially nice for growing in the ground as a foliage plant; I keep the A. bulbifer in a pot.

    Achimenes species and hybrids make nice bedding plants for a shady area and produce small scaly rhizomes in the fall that will stay dormant as long as they are kept dry.

    Begonia sutherlandii is a half-hardy tuberous species that hasn't been reliably hardy for me in zone 7, but is easy to keep dormant indoors.

    Although it keeps its leaves Cycas revoluta stays more or less dormant in the winter, as long as it's kept cool; it doesn't produce any new leaves until I can put it outdoors in the spring (leaves produced indoors will always be weak and etiolated unless you can give it full sun). The main problem with this species is that it eventually gets quite large.

  • rokal

    Thanks for the great info everyone. Keep the suggestions coming.

  • xerophyte NYC

    All cycads, not just C revoluta, can be kept dormant through the winter indoors, with minimal light and water, they are unbelievably resilient and beautiful plants, keep an eye out for the occasional mealy bug while in the house.

    Large agaves, most cactus, and many succulents can be kept dormant overwinter in their pots, in the dark - but it must be dry and cold (35-50F).

    Caesalpinia pulcherrima, "Dwarf Poinciana", drops it's leaves and can be kept dormant as well.

    Believe it or not, the Canary Island Date Palm (Phoenix canariensis) will do quite nicely in a dormant, cool, relatively dry state, as in a garage - but what can be done when the plant becomes massive?

    I will be experimenting next winter with some Callistemon and Phormium in the garage.

  • garden_nerd

    Sauromatum venosum overwinters bone-dry for me and resprouts in July.

    Gloriosa rothschildianum, ditto. Sprouts in May.

  • cheerpeople

    some Canna
    some alocasia
    sprekelia- but won't rebloom again for me
    pregnant onion - ornithogalum
    ornithogalum saundersai- my fav. tropical flower!
    croscosmia- hasn't bloomed yet tho- new but did winter dormant
    rain lily

    As winter storage is so many months in zone 5
    I have noticed smaller/skinny tubers/bulbs tend to dessicate.
    I bare root store as many as I can but some need to be bagged with barely moist peat moss.
    PLants with no tuber/bulbs like black EE, need to be turned into houspelants not dormant stored.
    Plan for/accept loss- ex) some times as much as 50% of canna will be no good by spring.

    I keep these as houseplants too-
    some alocasia
    giant bird of paradise
    waterplants- like papyrus, optical fiber grass
    amazon lily
    I have kept a datura this year but only becasue some plant companies are interested in its variegation.
    purple heart
    pregnant onion

    hope it helps-


  • tropicsofcolorado

    how do you store tropicals dormant?

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